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Turntable Kitchen’s Top 5 Recommended Turntables (and Tips for Selecting Your Own)

UPDATE: Some of the turntables we recommended have been replaced and/or discontinued. As a result, we’ve compiled a new guide to building a complete stereo system including turntables, preamps, phono stages, speakers and more here: http://www.turntablekitchen.com/2014/10/turntable-kitchens-top-6-recommended-turntable-systems/

So, you previously read Turntable Kitchen’s Top Ten Reasons to Buy a Turntable, and are now thoroughly convinced that you need a record player, but are looking for a place to start. Buying a turntable can be a daunting experience. After all, there is a lot to consider. For example, do you want belt-driven or direct-drive? Also, you need to decide if you want a turntable with or without a built-in preamp. Do you want to start an audiophile quality setup that can be upgraded over time, or do you just want something simple that will allow you to play records? Ultimately, after considering those factors, the answer as to which turntable you’ll want will primarily depend on two factors: your budget and what your goal for your system is (Note: this article presumes you aren’t seeking a DJ-style deck which are designed with different considerations than a turntable intended as a hi-fi system).

I’ve broken my recommendations down into a few different categories, starting with a recommendation for the beginner record collector, moving to recommendations for archivists (meaning you want a way to transfer vinyl to MP3), followed by my recommendation for starting an audiophile quality stereo system, and ending with my tips for selecting  your own turntable if the ones I recommend don’t appeal to you.

And, remember, even the best turntable is only as good as the speakers you use it with. Check out our newest guide: 3 Audiophile Speakers That Will Make Your Music Glow.

 

I Want a Basic Turntable To Listen To My Small Collection of Records

TK Recommends:

AT-LP60-Automatic Turntable

*  $129
*  Belt-Drive
*  Built-in Preamp
*  RCA outputs
*  Upgradeable
*  Available from Amazon.

If you are on a budget, but want a good, basic turntable that will let you play those pretty 7” records you receive in your Turntable Kitchen Pairings Box each month, I recommend the AT-LP60-Automatic Turntable. It is a solid starter turntable.  It is belt-driven and includes a built-in preamp and line-level RCA outputs, which means it is good to go straight out of the box and won’t require you to purchase any other equipment. You can connect this turntable to a home stereo system. Compared to the other turntables in this range, you’ll get very good sound reproduction when listening to your record collection. You can upgrade many of the components, such as the stylus, to improve the overall performance of the player.

 

I Want a USB Turntable To Convert LPs into MP3s

TK Recommends:

Ion iPTUSB Turntable  * see comments

*  $129.99
*  Belt-Drive
*  USB output
*  Built-in speaker
Available from Amazon (discontinued).

Music Hall USB-1

*  $249.99
*  Belt-drive
*  USB output
*  Built-in preamp
*  Available from Amazon.

Pro-ject Essential USB Turntable

*  $399.99
*  Belt-drive
*  Audiophile Quality
*  USB output
*  Upgradeable
*  Available from Amazon.

Personally, I’m not crazy about USB to PC turntables for converting vinyl records into MP3 format.  Most people I know who buy them don’t use them for that purpose very often (if ever) and instead just use them to play records. And, of course, the feature will cost you – either in terms of the overall quality of your turntable or in price.  Besides, many contemporary records include digital downloads with purchase of the vinyl anyways. However, if you have a collection of old, rare records, this might be the easiest way to transfer the music at listenable quality.

If you are seeking a turntable for this purpose, the next question you need to ask is whether you are simply seeking a basic, starter turntable to transfer your music or looking for a high-end audiophile piece of equipment to also make your music sound glorious. I recommend three turntables for this section, based on the criteria you’re looking to fulfill. The Ion is the cheapest of the three and will do a good job of both playing your records and transferring them digitally (however, see the comments section: one reader noted that there are speed issues and it may not be possible to bypass the built in preamp which isn’t very good quality).  The Music Hall USB-1 will do a better job at playing your records, and the Pro-Ject Essential USB Turntable is the somewhat pricier audiophile choice that will make your music sounds mind-blowing.

 

I Want an Audiophile System To Make My Records Sound Amazing

TK Recommends:

Pro-ject Debut Carbon Turntable

*  $369-399 (depending on color)
*  Belt-Drive
*  Very upgradeable
*  Audiophile Quality
*  Sexy
*  Available at Amazon.

If you’re really into your music and want a turntable that can change the way you hear your favorite albums, then you are going to want to get an audiophile quality deck.  Keep in mind, they aren’t cheap, but they’re worth the price if you’re serious about building out your music collection. Even an entry-level audiophile quality turntable is going to cost you at least $350 for the turntable itself, and it won’t have a built-in preamp, so you’ll need to buy that, too. Odds are, you are going to need a phono-in unless your integrated amp or amplifier has one built-in. And, of course, you’ll eventually need to buy good speakers because even a great turntable will sound crappy out of bad speakers. If you’re prepared and excited to start building out your record-listening collection, allow me to make some recommendations.

The three most commonly recommended entry-level audiophile turntables are the Pro-Ject Debut Carbon, the Rega RP1, and the Music Hall MMF 2.2.  If possible, your best bet is to go to an audio-equipment store and give each a listen before deciding on which one you want. Each is a fantastic turntable that will breathe new life into your record collection.

When selecting mine, I went out to local audio-equipment stores and gave each of them a test drive using the same records, integrated preamp, cables and speakers for each test run. When all was said and done, I left with a slight, but certain, preference for the sound from the Debut III (now upgraded and called the Debut Carbon). It was warm, clean and very alive. Not only that, but for me, it was the sexier looking turntable of the three. I bought it in red, but it is also available in several other colors including silverblack, white, blue, green and yellow. The RP1 was a close second, but it was a definite second place and also more expensive. Thus, I recommend the Pro-Ject Debut Carbon (the update to the Debut III).

Personally, I started my system with a Cambridge Audio azur 340A integrated pre-amp, a Cambridge Audio phono-in, and a pair of PSB speakers.  It sounds great to my ears.  I later updated my Debut with an acrylic platter and the Pro-Ject Speed Box (which increases bass performance and improves and automates speed control).  Next I plan to purchase a new cartridge and better speakers.

 

Tips For Selecting Your Own Turntable

Not interested in any of the ones I recommended above?  Maybe you just want to hit eBay to buy a vintage turntable. No worries, here are some tips to help you select your own.

Belt-drive vs. Direct-drive

I recommend belt-drive turntables.  If you aren’t a DJ, the advantages of direct-drive turntables are insignificant, but the disadvantages are numerous – especially if you aren’t ready to dive into the high-end market (and even then, I generally recommend belt-driven turntables).  This is because direct-drive turntables can transmit noise from the motor and bearing to the stylus, which means the sound produced isn’t as clean as it could be.  Many direct-drive turntables also can have issues related to speed that cause pitch variations in playback (a.k.a. wow and flutter).  Conversely, the belt on a belt-driven turntable absorbs vibrations that may otherwise be picked up by the stylus.

Built-in amplifiers

First, let me say that I have no intention of getting deep into a discussion of preamps, integrated preamps, and amplifiers.  There is a lot to cover on the topic, and I want to keep this about selecting a turntable.  However, when selecting a turntable, you’ll need to decide whether you want to purchase a turntable with a built in preamp or not.

I’m going to try to keep this as straightforward as possible, which means I’m glossing over a lot of stuff here. With that said, here is the basic gist of it: without a preamp, the output from your turntable won’t be loud enough to be picked up through normal stereo equipment/speakers. Personally, I don’t like turntables with built-in amplifiers and I’d rather buy my own.  With a built-in preamp you are stuck with the quality of the preamp built-in to the turntable, which probably isn’t very good.  Audiophile equipment generally won’t include that option anyway. However, buying a turntable with a built-in preamp saves you the cost of having to buy a separate preamp.  Thus, the bottom line is this: if you are on a tight budget, go with a turntable with a built-in preamp; if you are going middle of the road on a system you can improve over time, I’d recommend buying a separate integrated amp (combines the preamp and amplifier)(hint: you may find cheap “vintage” equipment on eBay to get you started); and if you are looking to build the perfect system you’ll probably want to go with a separate preamp, amplifier, turntable, and phono-in.  As I mentioned above, I started my system with a Cambridge Audio Azur 340A integrated pre-amp, a Cambridge Audio phono-in, and a pair of PSB speakers.

If you’re looking for speaker recommendations, we’ve got you covered. Check out our top 3 audiophile quality speaker systems.

Meanwhile, if you’re looking for preamps, speakers, phono stages, and/or updated turntable recommendations, check out our brand new guide to building a turntable stereo system: http://www.turntablekitchen.com/2014/10/turntable-kitchens-top-6-recommended-turntable-systems/

Posted by Matthew Hickey

MattNekoRecords

Matthew is the music editor and co-founder of Turntable Kitchen. He’s addicted to vinyl records, pour over coffee, craft beer, small batch bourbon, and pan roasting pork chops.

  • Brian

    Thanks for dropping some turntable science Mr. Hiznickey!

  • Marc Dula

    I’ve got the Pro-ject Phono Box II phono preamplifier and it’s a nice solution if you’re just getting started and your equipment only has a line-in instead of a phono-in.

  • http://www.turntablekitchen.com Matthew

    Thanks Marc! That is an excellent recommendation for a phono preamp!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1495743128 Matthew Raiteri

    I wouldn’t recommend the Ion iPTUSB turntable. I have one and after a few months it started playing records to fast so the pitch was to high. It has a pitch control but the speed would change all of the time so it just got to be more trouble than it was worth.

    I also thought that if you used the standard rca output that it would bypass the built in pre-amp. Unfortunately it does not. The built in pre-amp sounds okay through small speakers but sound awful through an actual stereo.

    I will say though, I loved this thing while it was working well.

  • http://www.turntablekitchen.com Matthew

    That is good to know. I have some other friends who have that one (it’s pretty popular), but they don’t use it often enough to have serious problems. I’m going to update the post to suggest that people review your comment before buying that one.

  • http://blog.muffinegg.com Rachel

    A turntable is on my Christmas list! I’ll fwd this very useful post onto Santa Claus : )

  • http://www.piranha-audiovisual.co.uk/ Events Management

    This is simply an amazing list and breakdown to get the turntable for what you want! Also thanks for the breakdown with the amp vs preamp, perhaps that could be the next blog post? :)

  • Johnintokyo

    If you aren’t a DJ, the advantages of direct-drive turntables are insignificant, but the disadvantages are numerous WTF… cheap quality secondhand Direct Drives are easily found, advantages insignificant, well if wow and flutter don’t matter to you. Honestly if you’re going to buy secondhand a good value direct drive is easy to find the only thing it may require is a decent cartridge. The Technics range is almost bullet proof, incredibly reliable no worries about belts, and the motors have such high torque that they won’t be wearied by age.

  • http://www.turntablekitchen.com Matthew

    Hey John,

    Thanks for the comment. I stand by my comments though. You’ll notice that the standard Pro-Ject Turntable I recommended is under the $400 mark when you buy it brand new. It’s belt-driven and plays beautifully. There are no issues related to wow and flutter. Because I’m not a DJ, I value speed and pitch stability over any advantages a direct drive turntable may offer. I’d feel differently about this if I wanted to use my turntable for DJing purposes.

    With all of that said, I’d agree that you can probably find a used direct drive turntable in that same price range that will provide great playback with little or no wow and flutter issues. But personally, I’d rather buy the new turntable for the same price. In other words, when comparing a new direct drive turntable to a new belt drive turntable within the $400 and under price range – I’d always recommend the new belt drive UNLESS you want to DJ with it.

  • Christopher Bacarella

    As someone who is a total newbie when it comes to building a reputable vinyl based audio system, what exactly do the pre-amp and the phono in serve to do? I want to create a really good system, but also want to know the process behind it before I take the plunge. Thanks!

  • Mia

    Hi. I was wondering if you knew a basic but loud record player that could play all three speeds and could also make the records sound amazing without breaking the bank, preferably under 300 dollars and preferably vintage looking but it’s no problem if it doesn’t. The one you recommended for a basic turntable only plays two speeds. Thank you

  • http://www.turntablekitchen.com Matthew

    Hi Mia. I just wrote a book report length response and then due to internet connection problems lost everything I wrote. Unfortunately, that means you’re getting the short answer. Here are three options:

    1. Pro-Ject Essential. Pros: Amazing sound, Upgradeable. Cons: Requires $20 adapter to play 78 rpm, $299 (high end of your range), not vintage, and you need to manually adjust speed once you have the adapter. Here is a link: http://www.insound.com/Essential-Turntable-Black-TURNTABLE-Pro-Ject-Audio/P/INS102015/from=60603

    2. Ion turntable from above in the USB section. Pros: Good sound, plays all three speeds easily, converts records to MP3, and relatively cheap. Cons: Some users (see below in comments) have had problems with playback speed over time.

    3. Crosley CR49. Pros: Vintage design, good price ($129), portable, built-in speakers, plays all three speeds. Cons: Sound sometimes described as tinny; no room to really upgrade. Here is the link: http://www.insound.com/CR49-Traveler-Turntable-Tan-TURNTABLE-Crosley-Turntable/P/INS41115/from=60603

  • Kevin

    Hello, I read your article and saw that you recommended the Audio-Technica AT-LP60 turntable for a newbie. I am extrememly new to playing vinyls; never had a turntable before. I was also considering the Grace Digital GDIVW00 which somebody recommended to me. Could you please give your opinion on which would be the better choice. I do not care about recording vinyls to mp3 I just want to listen to the hand full of records I have. Thank you very much for your help!

    Kevin

  • http://www.turntablekitchen.com Matthew

    Hey Kevin,

    I definitely recommend the Audio-Technica over the Grace Digital. In all fairness, I haven’t used the Grace Digital before, but I’ve read a number of exceptionally poor reviews for it. It tends to average about 2 stars out of 5 from users, whereas the Audio-Technica tends to receive about 4 out of 5 from users. I hope that helps.

  • http://twitter.com/rei_0 rei_0

    I’ve had the AT-LP60 for about a year now. Easy to set up, easy to use, easy to take apart. Sounds pretty decent, and the motor is a lot stronger than I was expecting. Comes with lots of cables.
    I also got mine really cheaply, which is the best part.
    You could use it to rip vinyl to mp3s if you really wanted, but then it starts to become really apparent that it’s not the best setup for that.

  • John

    so If a get the AT LP60, can I plug it into my Bose control pod for my Bose Campanion 3 series?

  • Adam

    At last. At last I have vinyl in the kitchen. Inspired by your goodselves I have finally installed a record player in the kitchen :-) http://www.curlykale.net/stroke-web-design-hard-music/ only one record so far , but loving it!

  • Trish

    Dumb question to you, I’m sure, but I’m not familiar – please tell me is there a turntable you can play all by itself – you don’t need a stereor or anything added?

  • http://www.turntablekitchen.com Matthew
  • Sue

    Matthew, can any of your picks for turntables be used with a Bose Wave system?

  • http://www.turntablekitchen.com Matthew

    Hi Sue.

    I can’t say for sure with 100% confidence I’ve not used the Bose Wave system before. However, I’ve tried to do a little research online so I could answer your question. It appears that the Bose Wave System has an aux-input (similar to a head phone jack) and regular audio inputs (the red & white inputs). If this is true then I’d think that any of the turntables above with a built-in preamp should work just fine with it. The Music Hall USB-1 and AT-LP60 would be the easiest to set up with your system.

    The other turntables (especially the higher end models) listed about shouldn’t be too tricky to connect either except that you’d probably also need to buy a phono-in and a pre-amp as well.

    I hope that helps!

    Matthew

  • R

    Do you need speakers in order for the AT-LP60-Automatic Turntable to work?

    I am not looking for a trendy/vintage turntable, but if I can get good quality then I am open to a trendy turntable. My top priority is easy set-up without any add ons needed. I have had a number pf people recommend the Crosley brand, but I am unsure of the quality. Is this a quality, start-up turntable? Do you recommend it? If so, which is the best model?

  • Angela G.

    I bought the following turntable for someone, who, I ended up not gifting it to: Stanton T62 Straight Arm Direct-Drive DJ Turntable with 500.v3 Cartridge Pre-Mounted. I, however, need something to play my records. Is this turntable unnecessary for me? I only listen to my records every now and then. Should I return it and buy a simpler record player, and one with a preamp? I just also realized this one does not have a preamp. This turntable seems a little too “advanced” for me…but maybe It’s not. Any opinions? Suggestions for a different turntable?? Or if I should keep it, and can someone recommend speakers for it? I’m very indecisive about this because I have NO CLUE about record players/turntables! Thank you!

  • http://www.turntablekitchen.com Matthew

    Hi Angela,

    I’m happy to help. I’m not super familiar with it, but from what I’ve read the Stanton is a fine turntable to start with. You can definitely get a preamp an stick with it and I don’t think you’d be disappointed. You could also trade it in for the Music Hall USB-1 which is $50 more (a decent preamp will cost you more than $50 – so this is actually a cheaper option). If you want to spend even less you could even go for the AT-LP60 which is $130 and has a built-in preamp as well.

    The AT-LP60 also has RCA outputs so you could work with any speaker system that included those inputs (for the traditional red and white plugs). I can give you some recommendations on speakers, but I’d need to know how much you were looking to spend to get more specific.

    I hope that helps!

  • Angela G.

    Thank you for the quick response! I really like the looks of the Music Hall USB-1; Some sites show it with the clear cover and some do not, I would really like a cover, so I’m a little unsure about ordering it. I was also looking at this record player: Crosley – CR6009A-GY Advance USB Stereo Turntable, but haven’t heard many positives about Crosley. What do you think? I also like the way it looks. I would definitely take some recommendations on speakers. Probably $100-$300 is what I’d be willing to spend, unless I found a nice set at a thrift store/craigslist.

  • judy

    Hi Matthew. First of all, thanks for your helpful article! Now I was hoping that you’d be able to help me choose my first vintage record player. It’s between a Philharmonic Red Electric Portable 4-Speed Record Player or a Rca Victor Victrola Record Player in Hard Case 4 Speeds. What I’m looking for is a basic, vintage record player. I love that the vintage ones have character and dig the looks of them, but I want to make sure that it has decent quality/worth the price, despite its apparent age.
    Which of the two would you suggest?

    Thank you very much.

    Here are the links if you care to check out:
    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=281053761643#ht_500wt_899
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/271139426747?ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1438.l2649

  • Erik Ballantyne

    I have the Audio-Technica AT-LP60 and for a budget item this is worth every penny. First off I would like to say that I am indeed an audiophile, only I am a broke audiophile. I do hope to upgrade to the project carbon one day, however for the time being this is a great turntable to have around. It does not sound like a budget model, and nor does it function like one, it gets the job done and sounds really good doing it. I also really like how it has the option of turning the pre-amp on or off, this is great for me because i have an amp in one room, and the other i have to plug it into computer speakers and i use the preamp. This does have some downfalls such as there is no adjustment for the weight of the tone arm and I would like it to play at 72 rpm (i dont expect that from a budget model but it would be nice). Overall i highly recommend this to anybody who wants the most for their low budget.

  • http://www.turntablekitchen.com Matthew

    Hey Erik,

    Thanks for the comment. I hope folks do take the time to read these comments, because I think this is good info for people on the fence. While it’s really great to have a Pro-Ject, there is no question that you don’t need to drop $400-500 to have a great listening experience with a turntable. I recommended the Audio-Technica exactly for the reasons you described. It sounds significantly better than similarly priced options (such as some of the Sonys and Crosleys I’ve heard). I also loved that built-in preamp that you can chose to use or bypass.

  • dave

    should I get the AT LP-120 or Project Essential

  • http://www.turntablekitchen.com Matthew

    Hey Dave,

    I’ve not spent a lot of time with the Essential (it’s a newer model), but based on my experience with other Pro-Jects I’d definitely recommend it. I’m using the Pro-Ject Debut (the predecessor to the Carbon), and I love it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/Alvabass Alvaro Martín Gómez Acevedo

    I’m not an audiophile nor a DJ, but I can tell for sure that my favorite turntable is the Technics SL-1200 MKxx. The problem is, it is now gone, and there are people who, like me, don’t want to take the risk of buying used without trying first. For those of us, the best option in the absence of the almighty Technics is one of the so-called Super-OEM turntables. I have a Numark TTXUSB and I think it’s a terrific machine. Sturdy and well isolated. That and the Audio-Technica AT-LP1240-USB are the best options for someone who wants a solid brand-new direct drive turntable. The Stanton ST.150 is another great one, but forcing customers to buy an included stock cartridge at an additional price is a big minus for it.

    Not that I want to put the Super-OEMs at the level of high-grade audiophile equipment, but it makes me feel sad to see/hear many audiophiles despising them just because of being “Chinese Technics knockoffs”. While they are not “the real thing”, they are no slouches either.

  • savage

    I was looking for a aesthetically pleasing minimal great sounding setup for the living room i was considering the tdk turntable as it looks great with the leather dust cover high gloss finnish and also comes with a switch able integrated phono amp and a usb port i found one for £230 but the cartridge and stylus are basic and i have no need for the usb i was also thinking of hooking up some tannoy 601a monitors and upgrading the stylus to get the best sound quality or just go for the pro-ject carbon
    .

  • http://www.turntablekitchen.com Matthew

    Hey Savage,

    I’m sorry to say I don’t have any personal experience with TDK turntables. I’ve read complaints about the price, the audio-ripping software, and about the cartridge/stylus, but I’ve also read a number of reviews that said that they were quite happy with the overall sound quality and physical appearance of the turntable. Judging from the pictures I’ve seen it’s certainly a beautiful deck. I also like that it has a belt drive. I’d say the Carbon is the safer choice in that it’s been widely well-reviewed and is considered a relatively good value for the money by most audiophiles. That said, it sounds like the TDK is also an above average intro turntable. My guess based on what I’ve read is that you wouldn’t be disappointed if you chose to give the TDK a go. If you do, I’d love to hear what you thought of it after you’ve had it for awhile.

  • jermayne

    Audio-tech is better or corsley?

  • http://www.turntablekitchen.com Matthew

    It’s depend a little on the specific models in question, but generally speaking I’d recommend an Audio-Technica over a Crosley in most cases.

  • Matthew

    The website you linked to, Insound, say that they don’t ship outside of North America due to the quality of the turntable being compromised by a converter. Could you possibly explain why this is, and whether or not the loss in quality is large enough to make a difference? And what does this mean for me living in New Zealand; are there any options through which I can still get a high quality sound out of a turntable? Any help would be appreciated . Thanks.

  • Jeff

    Very nice guide. I like how you broke it down into sections like that. I am looking for feedback on my own turntable buying guide, which includes plenty of set-up instructions as well: http://iamthejeff.com/post/10/how-to-find-the-best-turntable-and-how-to-make-the-most-of-it

  • Joyce Talking Ocean Chasteen

    I’ve got a Sony turntable w/USB but not the rest of the components. Upon thinking about it I want to build the best system for the best quality and I’ll probably get rid of my never used turntable. I just bought a audiophile Mobile Fidelity Pat Benatar LP; In The Heat of the Night, have a DJ Copy from 1979 of Heartbreaker/We Live For Love I got from Tokyo; plus all of my other vinyls and I want to rock out with the best system I can find. I’m a grown up now with my own home and can listen to my music loud w/out the parentals banging on my door. No residence of my left; stoner guy living next door on my right, and a deaf man across the street; I plan for my pictures to shake on the walls.

  • Philip Glazzard

    Hi Mark, that’s a decent guide to buying a vinyl player – you might like to read my article on great turntables I have owned over the last 30 years, see

    http://www.hifigear.co.uk/blog/retro-vintage-turntables-from-the-last-30-years

  • Toberius

    Hi Matt, thanks a lot for this article, this shown a long experience of turntable what your are.

    Let me ask for the Technics sl-1900 turntable what do you think? It is a direct drive, but my idea is going into audiophile. I go to rigth path?

    Thanks again.

  • Ilya

    Hi Matt, I need your advice. I am looking for a record-player for my 97-y/o dad. In terms of quality and features, it can be pretty basic, and, preferably, have built-in speakers. However it does have to be fully automatic: he has a bad tremor, and won’t be able to manipulate it manually (other than placing a record on it). Are those requirements – built-in speakers and automatic – contradictory? Thanks a lot!

    Ilya
    citicrab@gmail.com

  • http://www.turntablekitchen.com Matthew

    Hi Ilya,

    I believe there are some turntables that are fully automatic and have built-in speakers, but none that I can recommend. Not because they are necessarily bad, but because I don’t have any experience with them. The brands that I see come up when I look on Amazon that feature both aren’t particularly great. I can say that the Audio Technica AT-LP60 is fully automatic. It doesn’t have built in speakers, but I’m pretty sure it does have outputs that would allow you to plug in a pair of laptop speakers.

  • Hannah

    Hi guys, I was wondering if you know anything about this system? Seems like a good price with everything included…

    http://www.hifi-tower.co.uk/Auna-Stereo-Hifi-Twin-Cassette-Tape-Deck-CD-Player-Turntable-Vinyl-to-MP3-USB-Converter_i1370.htm

  • rach

    Hi
    I’m just thinking about buying my husband a turntable for Xmas . We have an Acoustic Wave Bose Music system at home and I am not entirely sure whether or not this system would be compatible with a project turntable. If I can I’d like to be able to plug into the bose system without having to purchase separate speakers etc etc….do you have any pointers for me , thanks Rach

  • http://www.turntablekitchen.com Matthew

    Hi Rach,

    Another person asked about this before. I can’t answer this with 100% confidence because I’ve not used the Bose Wave system before. However, from what I can tell from a little online research it appears that the Bose Wave System has an aux-input (similar to a head phone jack) and regular audio inputs (the red & white inputs). The Pro-Ject should plug in just fine except that you’d probably need a phono-in like this one: http://www.insound.com/Phono-Box-DC-Preamp-Pro-Ject-Audio/P/INS109898/from=60603

    The reason is because output from a turntable without a built-in preamp is too quiet to play properly through a normal audio system. Once upon a time stereo systems were built with turntables in mind, but that’s not true anymore so most don’t have a standard phono-in nowadays. A phono-in should be enough to cleanly amplify the sound so that it sounds right through the Bose Wave system. I hope that helps.

  • Chloe

    Hi there, I’m looking for a player with ideally built in speakers but if not one which you can just plug speakers into it. I have a lot of vinyls but not yet a player for them! Can u recommend any that won’t take up too much room and aren’t really expensive?

  • http://www.turntablekitchen.com Matthew

    I’m not personally a fan of the ones with built-in speakers, but Crosley does make a few like that. You could also buy the AT-LP60 which has RCA outputs and a built-in preamp: http://www.insound.com/AT-LP60-Automatic-Turntable-TURNTABLE-Audio-Technica/P/INS70640/from=60603

  • WingChiu Ng

    Heya Matthew,

    Just the other days my friend told me she was going to give away an entire collection of records from a passed relative. She mentioned that there was an ample abundance of classical music records and suddenly she had my interest. Of coursed, as a newbie I have been researching online for hours now about what I need to know to use/buy a turntable and any perks that come with it.I am quite sure that in time I can gather enough information to get into being an audiophile, but I am faced with a simple problem: I don’t know where to buy a turntable (saving up for a good Debut Carbon Turntable) and some online places I’ve seen don’t ship to Puerto Rico.

    Do you know of a online site where they ship to the island?

    Additionally, I am having serious trouble with understanding whether I need an amplifier, a phono, preamplifier, ect. If you could at least direct me into places where I could read up understandable information on these topics it would be great!

  • kets13

    Matthew, great article. I’ve been interested/intrigued by the notion of buying a turntable for some time, but get overwhelmed when I start looking into it (true beginner).
    My question for you, is this:
    what is the most minimalistic set-up i could have for either the AT-LP60 or the Pro-Ject Carbon? I would want to have this player in a small room that currently has no other Audio equipment. Would it be as simple as buying one of these turntables and a set of bookshelf speakers?
    Thanks.

  • http://www.turntablekitchen.com Matthew

    Hey Kets13,

    The AT-LP60 is by far more of a plug-n-play product. The Pro-Ject is the better turntable in terms of sound reproduction, but would require an integrated preamp, speakers and phono-in to work properly. The AT-LP60 should be able to connect directly to a set of speakers and be good to go. I hope that helps!

    Matthew

  • Randy

    Hi Matthew, wondering if you had any info on the Pro-Ject Audio – Tube Box S – Tube Phono Preamplifier? I’m currently in the research stage of purchasing a beginner TT setup and was thinking of combining this with the Debut Carbon that you recommend. Also, wondering if you could add a link to a decent beginner phono-in and cables for all?

  • http://www.turntablekitchen.com Matthew

    Hi Randy,

    I haven’t tried using the Tube Box S yet, but I’ve been meaning to check it out. It sounds pretty cool and so far I’ve not been disappointed with any of the Pro-Ject products I’ve tried out. I’ll do an update if I get a chance to check it out, but if you do get it, let me know how it works out.

    I’ve been using the Cambridge Audio Azur 540P phono-in for my setup and like it. The problem is that it’s not in production anymore. However, I’ve heard good things about the Cambridge Audio Azur 551P which is a successor to the 540P. Here’s a link: http://www.amazon.com/Cambridge-Audio-Phono-Preamplifier-Black/dp/B007A0CYCK/ref=pd_sim_sbs_e_1

  • jamaica

    hi matt! when i search through insound for pro-ject phono boxes http://www.insound.com/search/?query=phono+pro-ject , four different ones come up. which one do you recommend? is there a noticeable difference between the 99$ one and the 199$ one? thank you!

  • http://www.turntablekitchen.com Matthew

    Hi Jamaica,

    Without getting to wonky, the main difference is which cartridge (the needle and head mount) types they are intended to be used with. For example, the $99 unit is compatible with moving magnet (MM) cartridges such as the one that comes preinstalled in the Pro-Ject Carbon or Essential. The $199 one is intended to work with nearly any cartridge on the market including MM cartridges. If you’re on a budget and not intending any fancy cartridge updates in the next few years, you’d probably be best served with the cheaper phono box. If you’re going super high end you’d potentially notice a difference in quality too, but I doubt the difference would be that noticeable unless your system starts getting really decked out with upgrades. If you’re just starting out with a hi-fi system, I think you’d be happy with this one: http://www.insound.com/Phono-Box-MM-Preamp-Pro-Ject-Audio/P/INS108873/&from=60603

  • keith

    I get a kick out of this. First the pro- ject , rega , and music hall tt don’t sound any better than the cheap p mount tt of the 80s.You can find them all day long for 50 bucks. Just put a good cart on them and you are good to go. If I spent 400 bucks on one of these I would tell you they are fantastic or I would look like a fool. They cant even keep the right speed. These are the nikes of the turntable world. Over priced poorly made. I wish someone that has been around turntables for a while would give honest no b.s. reviews.

  • Raphael Paz

    I’d just bought the Pro-ject Debut Carbon and I need a phono box. Please recommend one. My Pre-Amp is an Anthem AVM50 actually a Processor and I use a Balanced Audio Technology BAT VK-6200 5 channel Amplifier. I want to buy the very best match for the Turntable.

    Please advise.
    Cheers.

  • http://www.turntablekitchen.com Matthew

    Hey Raphael,

    I’m happy to help however I should point out that the “very best match” will, to some extent, be a reflection of your budget and personal preference. With that said, Pro-Ject’s Phono Box MM is a great match for the price: http://www.insound.com/Phono-Box-MM-Preamp-Pro-Ject-Audio/P/INS108873/&from=60603

    If you buy it from Insound be sure to use coupon code FALLWINTER2013.

  • WV

    I have a question…well it’s more of I need some advice. I
    what to be in the Audiophile arena. Here is my setup today.

    Speakers – MartinLogan
    - ElectroMotion ESL 8″ Floor Speaker

    Subwoofer – Velodyne 12’

    Amp – Crown

    Per Amp – David Havler DH-101

    Turn Table – Realistic LAB-420

    What do you recommend me doing…can
    you tell me my strengths and weaknesses of me equipment.

  • Glocebo Labs

    Erik – I used the LP60 for the past year or so and just recently got a Debut Carbon. I ran the LP60 into a Schiit Magni headphone amp into Sennheiser HD 598 headphones. The Debut Carbon is a step ahead for sure but I really, really enjoyed the time with the LP60, it was when I really learned to love the sound of vinyl.

  • Glocebo Labs

    Thanks Matt, great stuff. Happy to see your recommendation on the Carbon as I was so close to buying a Rega but opted for the Carbon instead. I got the Debut Carbon a couple weeks ago and am already thinking of upgrades. Do you have a recommendation on the speed box vs. acrylic platter in terms of which to get first? I am less concerned with the speed switching capability of the SB and more interested in the improvement in sound vs. the improvement in sound that the new platter brings. Have you upgraded the cartridge? I have the Ortofon Red, which you may not have if you got the III.

  • kat

    i was just given an AT-LP60 stereo turntable as a gift. the previous record player i had was part of an old record player/stereo console, with built in speakers and radio, etc. you say that the AT-LP60 has a preamp so i shouldn’t need speakers (technically) but i can’t really hear it all. do i have possibly have a different model than the one you are talking about? and what do i need to buy to be able to listen to my records? i’m not very tech savvy. do i need a receiver? or just speakers?
    thanks for any advice!

  • http://www.turntablekitchen.com Matthew

    Hey Kat,

    I don’t have an AT-LP60 myself so it’ll make troubleshooting harder. However, from my experience with them the pre-amp is able to be switched on and off. Can you verify that the preamp is switched into the “on” (or possibly “line”) position? Based on my experience with it, it should work just fine with only a pair of speakers. I think the pre-amp comes set in the off position by default.

  • rkirkbride

    Kets, As a Christmas present to myself, I bought an Audio Technica At-LP60 ($118 on Amazon), Lepai Tripath LP-2020A+ mini amp ($16.85 on Amazon) and a set of Micca MB42X speakers ($79.95 on Amazon). It is all you need to get started and sounds amazing. I did buy a Bang & Olufsen Beogram 3000 from an estate sale today for $50 :) Vinyl is a contagious disease…

  • Jackson Junglist

    You will need to plug the turntable into a receiver, and then the receiver will have to have speakers connected. The phono preamp that is included in the AT-LP60 allows you to connect it to a receiver that does not have a phono specific input. You can plug it into any line input that you choose (CD, MD, Tape, Aux, or even DVD or VCR). If your receiver does have a phono specific input, you can turn the built-in preamp off, and connect it to the phono input. You will have to connect the ground wire in addition to the stereo RCA cables.

  • http://bestrecordplayer.net/ USB turntable

    To bad that there are not the old phonographs listed, I realy love those old massive oak turntables.

  • kass

    I was thinking of getting the Debut Carbon to link to my Bose lifestyle system. I have a few questions:

    1. Would I be better off buying the turntable with the built-in phono or get a separate one?
    2. What other equipment would I need to connect it to the Bose system?

    Please advice. Totally new at this.

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